If You Worry About The Future…Try This

It is the nature of the beast for a business trainer and consultant to dwell on the negative. After all we make our money helping people turn bad news into good profit. Combine that with a hyper-awareness of the news and, even if you delight in the new direction of events, you can’t feel good about the divisiveness around almost every issue in our culture. We are embattled by wealth discrepancies, ideologies, theologies, geographies and demography…it can get downright depressing!

By contrast, a common trait found among successful CEO’s is a propensity to be involved in giving. It may be faith based or health cause related. It can be personal or community centered but there is usually a passion connection and that personality trait is part and parcel of the leadership profile that drives their success. I have counseled numerous CEO’s who are stuck or in a rut in their company to expand their horizons, connect to a charitable passion and see the returns roll in often unexpected ways.

Like so many I have done a variety of pro bono or charity activities and you recognize the giving/getting connection. I recall a friend who has volunteered and manages a soup kitchen every Saturday morning for years. I remember admiring her giving commitment but she made it clear though she was helping others she did it for herself. That confused me at first but then it made sense when you consider the Law of Attraction or even when you begin to grasp the mutual gain in realizing our better nature.

Surviving two kids through college and a little guy now in Kindergarten I’ve been through the mill of school events. Recently, our middle and high school took on the challenge of creating a TedX event for the students. Practically every professional has seen a Ted talk in some form and knows the power of the format. Taking a license to have students bring it to the community intrigued me so I volunteered to help the presenters with some of the presentation skills we teach to professionals.

I imagined I could help a little and our training certainly builds impact in presentations. Giving back to the community seems a worthy effort but isn’t it so often the case you get back surprisingly more than you give? The students here in Rye Neck, NY are surely similar to many high achievers in countless American schools. In their talks they are presenting subjects as diverse and important as the evolving role of women in culture, the value of classical music education, the Syrian refugee crisis, climate change impacts and the future of religion in our country. Heady topics to be sure and while their ideas can be intriguing it is their engagement that inspires. These are talented young people connected to issues with well thought opinions and a vital mix of realism, curiosity and idealism.

Being there to give my little bit I became inspired by the dedication and leadership potential in so many of our kids. I could imagine them going through college continuing as high achievers and finding their future professional pursuits all the while applying their ideals and enthusiasm to make a difference. So whatever short term angst our culture might be suffering that you might be sharing, my takeaway is that the future has all the potential for greatness and hope we need. It is wrapped and sometimes hidden from view in so many of today’s young people who will clearly be tomorrow’s leaders in achievement. That’s a takeaway you just don’t put a price on.


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